Dear friends,

Tonight is Rosh Chodesh (first of the Hebrew month of) Av, which begins the Nine Days, when we commemorate the destruction of the Jerusalem Temples. This year the Nine Days contain two Shabbats (this one and next) which are opportunities the Rebbe would utilize to increase joy during a sad time. In general, the Rebbe always sought the uplifting, positive and transformative message. See this post titled “Under Construction” in which we describe something Mendel’s father asked whether people would get the title of a booklet… see here for the full story and 9-Days relevant message.

We have a couple of updates to share!

LITTLE YOCHEVED MIRIAM

As many of you know from online posts and such, we were blessed with a third grandchild! Mushky and Moshe Denburg had a baby girl last week, joining siblings Risha and Zalman. They named her Yocheved Miriam for several people: Yocheved Miriam was Mendel’s grandmother, Mrs. Rubin (born and raised in Brownsville Brooklyn, later lived most of her life in Montreal). Yocheved is also for the late Yocheved Gourarie, whose father, the talented musician Avremi G, was the band-leader at Mendel and Raizy’s wedding in 1996, and Avremi G’s daughter Yocheved was born the night of the wedding! (and he came back to finish up playing, too). Sadly Yocheved died in 2020. Most interestingly, some of our alumni were familiar with Yocheved Gourarie, one was especially close to her and also named a child for her. And Miriam is also a name for Maxine Morgenbesser, a dear and beloved friend of Mushky’s grandmother/Mendel’s mother, a woman who dedicated herself tremendously to local Jewish education and the Maimonides school.

HERMAN’S SUKKAH DECK

Current students don’t remember Professor Herman Prins Salomon obm – a former professor of languages and cultures at UAlbany, with special expertise in Spanish-Portuguese Jewish history – but many of our alumni do. He would usually pray with us on Saturday mornings. We have many memories praying and celebrating with Herman over the years, but he was especially fond of Sukkot and supported Shabbos House each Sukkot.He passed away in 2021 after a long illness. His estate is paying to redo the Sukkah deck with long-lasting durable Trex flooring (we’ve already replaced a number of the wooden floor boards) and they repaired worn out or warped portions of the Sukkah trellis/arbor above, better securing it. There will be new lighting, additional switches and outlets and some other fixes. A professional and dedicated crew is working on this project. In addition, a fund will be established to help pay towards Sukkot holiday expenses at Shabbos House. We hope to have a special dedication ceremony on Sukkot or leading up to it. Sukkot is a very enjoyable, exciting, memorable (and expensive) time of the year at Shabbos House and “Herman’s Sukkah” will be a very fitting tribute to his memory. More on this later on.

RUBIN FAMILY UPDATE

Esther Miriam and Bluma are now both at Camp Emunah (separate divisions) for the second month of the summer. Bassie is back from being a counselor in that overnight camp and she’ll be working in the local day-camp where Rivka is enjoying a great summer. Moshe is head-waiter at Gan Israel in Parksville, which is a big job but he’s handling it well. Sara is back from her traveling adventures and Raizy is showing her around the Shabbos House office so she can help us with back-end work, there’s a lot of it. Chani is still chaperoning and photographing a CTeens Israel trip, an intense experience that she’s enjoying a lot. She has little time off but did manage to quickly see or meet up with some UAlbany current students and alumni!

Mendel’s father is now at sub-acute rehab at the Daughters of Sarah in Albany, which is close enough to walk over on Shabbos (about 50 minutes, mostly through the Pine Bush trail). There’s been a lot of progress, better and increased communication and good therapy,  but still a long ways to go. The hope is that he can go home by mid-August to continue to recuperate and recover at home (where renovations are underway to better accommodate his needs). Mendel goes most mornings to spend time with him, especially for Tefillin and breakfast.

RAFFLE WINNERS

Thanks to all who contributed to Shabbos House via the Chabad on Campus Grand Draw summer raffle campaign. This is a win-win for Shabbos House, at no cost to us. Your tickets and support will help be inflation-busters in this time of rising costs. Winners are: $18K Lieba Dlinn, Trip to Israel: S&R Gestetner, $1K Mark Young, $500 to Aharon Lazerowitz, Jeff Muencz, and David Shachter, $360: Gregory Young.

MEET-UP AT REBBE’S OHEL

We’ll be in Queens on August 1st (afternoon and/or evening) to bring Chani home from Israel and would like to visit the Rebbe’s Ohel (226-20 Francis Lewis Blvd) on that trip. It’s pretty centrally located for many, so if any would like to meet up there, or join for a personal prayer etc, please be in touch with us.

COZY SHABBAT WKNDS

It has been nice to welcome alumni visiting for these cozy Shabbat summer weekends.  Shabbat of August 12-13 will be the last of the summer cozy-Shabbat weekends. Believe it or not, freshmen move-in begins the 14th this year, and our first “freshmen weekend” Shabbat will be August 19-20. Alumni are still welcome for visits in August even as students return. Hard to believe it, and we’re not yet ready! But ready or not…

SEMESTER IS SOONER THAN WE REALIZE

We look forward to meeting up with our SH Lchaim Student board to plan the first stretch of the semester, especially as Rosh Hashanah isn’t until the end of the September. Anyone have Torah-Tuesday topic ideas? creative tabling ideas or special themes for Shabbat? A different type of program? We’re also open to suggestions for giveaways (both re items and slogans/tag-lines). Always looking for new ideas!

Best wishes to all for an enjoyable summer!

Love,
Mendel and Raizy